Leadership Network Symposium: Navigating Faculty Burnout and Overload in the Digital Learning Era

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, we explore the current experiences, attitudes, and values of faculty as they engage students in multiple learning environments. Our research highlights bright spots but also reveals concerning trends that underscore the need for additional support. Join us to discuss effective strategies for alleviating faculty burden, enhancing well-being, and fostering successful student outcomes in the digital era.


The OLC Leadership Network Symposium will bring together trailblazers and influential voices in our field in a highly collaborative one-day event, fostering discussions and debates about our digital learning futures. Together, we will determine our top priorities for the upcoming year, addressing the most significant challenges and opportunities facing our field. It aims to collectively identify areas that require our focused attention in addressing the ubiquitous challenges and promising opportunities for creating equitable, inclusive, and quality online and blended education. This year’s symposium promises a truly engaging experience, featuring a keynote address, panel discussions, and numerous networking opportunities. Do not miss out on this unique and prestigious event, where you can connect with leaders from around the world and gain valuable insights into critical topics. Learn More and Register: https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/attend-2023/accelerate/leadership-network-symposium/


For over 25 years, Carrie O'Donnell has been a change-agent in the education industry, focusing on digital learning solutions for the workplace and higher education, and on using customer insight to build great learning experiences. Her firm, O’Donnell Learn, is a leading learning experience (LX) design agency in higher education. Founded 30 years ago as a virtual company, the team includes hundreds of learning designers who partner with institutions and their faculty to improve virtual or blended learning.
Brett (he/him/his) has worked in higher education for over 25 years, with extensive experience leading teaching effectiveness and student success initiatives involving a myriad of stakeholders at campus, system, and national levels. Many of these efforts have included curricular redesign for more innovative and effective uses of technology, including quality online-blended course design and delivery. In his role at Alchemy, Brett has led the development and implementation of our Purposeful Learning Framework, which enables the creation of student-centric learning experiences that are humanized, inclusive, and engaging. Since earning his doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction in 1997, he has applied his knowledge and passion to become an established teacher, researcher, and thought leader on many topics in contemporary education. These range from sound fundamentals of effective course design and delivery to more innovative practices and uses of technology to provide greater access, engagement, and real-world application. In particular, Brett is known as an expert in applying Universal Design for Learning in post-secondary education as a means for greater equity, accessibility, and inclusivity. He has led many faculty and institutional efforts to apply the principles of UDL in ways to enable success by the greatest number and diversity of students possible. As a first generation college student himself, Brett is particularly invested in closing equity gaps that exist in postsecondary education. He works and resides in Olympia, Washington, on the ancestral lands of the Medicine Creek Treaty tribes. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brett enjoys all the scenic beauty and recreation the area has to offer and spends a great deal of time on regional trail and water pursuits.

Extended Abstract